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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Thriller > TV > Dollhouse – Season One (2009/Fox Blu-ray)

Dollhouse – Season One (2009/Fox Blu-ray)


Picture: B-     Sound: B     Extras: C+     Episodes: C+



I am no fan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and it is easily the most overrated TV show of its time, second only to Friends.  He knows his way around genres, but never completely, which explains why Alien Resurrection (1997) has its problems and Titan A.E. (the bomb from 2000) is a cult item at best.  Of course, Firefly and Serenity worked well enough, so he can pull off good work when he leaves when he is not overly ambitious and that is where he gets into trouble with his new TV series, Dollhouse.


This time, he thinks he is doing a hip update of The Stepford Wives (book and original film) with touches of Clonus (both reviewed elsewhere on this site) for a young audience, all the way down to the theme song, but what does it in is a bad combination of wooden acting, mindless melodrama that never works, underdeveloped characters and total ignorance of the deepest consequences of the material itself.  By doing the latter, Fox will not only fund it, but you can crate the myth that you can “action fight” your way out of things that are not deal with that way to being with.


Eliza Dushku is the lead and she can be appealing, but she is not at her best here, no matter how good she looks.  Tru Calling worked better.  The issue of beauty in a world where duplicates/gutted people (the same thing in many ways) are possibly being made is also glossed over in an embarrassing way and this becomes very silly by the time the first 13 hour-long shows are done.  The show could have been great, but it is an uneven mess and whether it can recover by its second season remains to be seen.  However, so much is wrong and bad about this season (despite some ambitions) that “it was just a dream, it was a very bad dream” won’t save this season permanent damage to the concepts working.



The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is supposed to be shot in Super 35mm film, but this is so subtly soft and noisy throughout that someone got crazy with the digital internegative and ruined the quality too often.  The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio (MA) is a little better, but compressed and plays far too much towards the front channels.  The result is not on par with the best such show son TV today like Burn Notice or The Beast.  Extras include the unaired pilot Echo (they were having problems early on), five featurettes, audio commentary on select shows and Deleted Scenes.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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